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Feb 18, 2013

Rotary and the Gift of Live

Rotary’s Gift of Life Clinics got underway this morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and will continue for the rest of the week. The cardiologist, Jeffrey Delaney is once again heading the team of doctors who will be attending to children with heart conditions. News Five Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Dozens of children suffering from various forms of heart conditions lined the waiting room inside the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital today where they received medical attention from a team of visiting specialists.  It is the first of two trips to the K.H.M.H. under the Rotary Gift of Life Program.


Yvette Burke

Yvette Burke, Rotary Gift of Life Program

“It’s the first year that we are trying a three-day clinic as opposed to two days because we have discovered that it is just too many children now and we are unable to get it accomplished in a reasonable amount of time. As a matter of fact, you see what time of the day it is now and we still have a number of children to go. In fact, we have to go on to the wards to see another four when we are done. So after torturing our poor hardworking team year after year with only two days, we decided to extend it a little bit this time and try to get the crowd spread out more reasonably.”


Jeffrey Delaney

Back for a fourth time is Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Jeffrey Delaney.


Dr. Jeffrey Delaney, Pediatric Cardiologist

“The program has been bringing cardiologist down for over fifteen years. This is my fourth year in the program and my fourth trip to Belize as part of the program.”


Isani Cayetano

“How have you seen this program grow in terms of its ability to reach out to patients who suffer heart condition?”


Dr. Jeffrey Delaney

“It’s been amazing. We take care of a lot of children in a very short span of time. We provide clinical evaluations, echocardiograms, medications; follow-up. And the program coordinates the transport of children that need complex surgery or other procedures to hospital in Central America and the United States that can provide that for them. We’ve also started to explore the expansion of procedures here in Belize including some surgeries and hopefully in the future some catheter-based procedures too.”


Among them is eighteen year old Neville Bermudez, who was diagnosed several years ago with an acute cardiac affliction.  His mother, Elizabeth Trapp, brought him in for a checkup.


Elizabeth Trapp

Isani Cayetano

“How beneficial has this program been to you and your family in terms of getting him the adequate attention that he needs to deal with his heart condition?”


Elizabeth Trapp, Parent

“It is very, very beneficial because without their help, I don’t think my son would be here today because they help you financial wise; they have all the contacts and from there, everything just roll. So it is very beneficial for us.”


Dr. Jeffrey Delaney

“Our young man here is an example of how the program helps people because he got rheumatic fever and then after his mitral valve was damaged from rheumatic fever, he had several episodes of infections on his mitral valve and then ended up needing to have his mitral valve replaced. His mitral valve was replaced through the program at a hospital in the United States in Florida. And after that he did very well, but gradually developed problems with another valve in his heart, his aortic valve. And when I saw him last year, we were worried that his aortic valve had deteriorated to the point that it was really putting strain on his heart. And he was able to go back to the same hospital in Florida that had cared for him before and had his aortic valve replaced. So now he has both a mechanical mitral valve and a mechanical aortic valve and he has just told me that he feels much better. He is playing sports again, he is doing his activities and he’s doing well.”


The Rotary Gift of Life Program has been in existence in Belize since 1998. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Rotary and the Gift of Live”

  1. Storm says:

    The story doesn’t say a word about where these volunteer doctors come from to save our children. Too bad, they deserve full recognition and thanks for their charitable hearts and efforts. I’m assuming they are from the States, which has been a very good neighbor to us always. Thank you, kind people!

  2. Ladymatura says:

    This is really positive news… Kudos to Yvette for being a champion of this and for all the doctors who give so selflessly to this…with kindness like this we can make our country a better place!

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